Swap a photo, make a friend!
Swappit! is an independent project I launched with two of my friends. Our primary inspiration is sparked by our conversation about traditional film cameras. During the conversation, we shared our fondness and nostalgia for traditional film cameras, which have been replaced by digital photography.
In the past, it was quite trendy for pen pals to swap their camera film rolls with each other via physical mail, and people would do double exposure onto the same roll of film for their pen pals, resulting in a piece of collaborating photography work regardless of the fact that they might be miles apart from each other.
Swappit! is an application designed to revive the fashion. While we maintain the traditional way of building penpalship, we also add the modern practice of creating double exposure in digital photography.
Esther Jan, Joy Chang, Billy Huang
Research and Visual Designer
Cameras used to be a luxury in the past, and thus, photography was available for the privileged. Photography served as an exclusive way to share precious memories with loved ones, and a unique medium to enhance the bonds between people. However, the emergence of smartphones has made digital photography so prevalent and easily accessible that the values of photos have dramatically declined.
Comparison between film and digital camera
With Swappit!, we want to revive the special effect of "Double Exposure" in traditional film photography and turn it into a digital activity that allows people to collaborate and connect with each other on their smartphones.
We interviewed people in the age groups of 20-35, and our interviewees came from diverse backgrounds, ranging from professional photographers to people who work in the business and tech field. We hope to understand their interest in participating in the activities such as "Double Exposure" on their smartphones.
The people we interviewed have been mentioning that the existing photo-sharing applications do not have a twist in interactions between their users. To learn more about the main features of these applications, we decided to do a brief research among three of the most popular photo sharing applications.
Analyzing existing products
Being the most popular photo-sharing platform among mobile apps, Instagram offers an "instant" way to upload pictures to its users' profile pages. However, after the recent update with features such as Stories and IGTV, the contents on Instagram have become too versatile to be managed.
The goal of Retrica is to provide a beautiful platform for users to showcase their selfies. Once you open the application and switch to "Camera", the camera is set to be on the Selfie mode automatically, making it effective for users to understand the objective of this application.
It is mainly used as a photo editing application. The majority of VSCO Cam users simply used it for adjusting and tweaking their photos, while they switch to other platforms for uploading and sharing their works. Users who regularly upload their photos to VSCO Cam platform are mostly professional photographers or designers, so the contents are less diverse.
These platforms share a common setback. That is, the only way to interact with other users is to discover and examine others' profiles. It means there is not an activity that allows users to provoke further interactions and collaborations.
Our target is to digitalize the film camera experience via a smartphone application while the application can serve as a platform for both film lovers and those who are unfamiliar with the tool, giving them a chance to know more about the device.
Combining the advantages of both digital and film cameras, the experience of swapping camera rolls with another user on the platform provides users a channel to share and collaborate, expanding their chance to interact.
Sketch and Wireframe Planning
Apart from our "Double Exposure" feature, in order to stand out from other photo-sharing applications, we resolve to achieve the following goals:
+ User-friendly navigation
+ Clean UI/UX designs
+ Pleasant visuals and graphics
+ Personalized feed
+ Easy photo-sharing option